8 December 2009
The Guests

Novelist John Connolly, writer/director Gerry Stembridge and arts journalist Sinead Gleeson.

The Film: The Merry Gentleman

Directed by Michael Keaton in what is his directorial debut, 'The Merry Gentleman' arrives just in time for the holidays. This is a strange one certainly and it stars Keaton himself as Frank Logan, a tortured loner who just happens to be an assassin. The love interest is Kelly Macdonald who plays Kate - another tortured loner who happens to be Scottish and sweet beyond words. Unlikely as it may seem, even in a movie, these two come together in the days leading up to Christmas. 'The Merry Gentlemen' is on general release at cinemas nationwide.

The Film: Nowhere Boy

Directed by Sam Taylor-Wood, a well known artist but first time director, 'Nowhere Boy' is a movie portrait of the young John Lennon. It stars Aaron Johnson in the lead role as Lennon goes through a difficult adolescence in Liverpool - estranged from his mother Julia and living with his aunt Mimi. This is also, of course, the period where Lennon first forms in a skiffle group, performs at the Woolton Garden Fete and meets Paul McCartney - all of it documented here. However this is no Beatle fest, this is Lennon before he's famous. The emphasis here is much more on the family life which formed John Lennon and the two most important women in his life - Anne Marie Duff is Julia and Kristin Scott Thomas is Mimi. 'Nowhere Boy' is on limited release at selected cinemas.

The Film: The Limits of Control

'The Limits of Control' is the latest movie from Jim Jarmusch. Isaach de Bankole, Jarmusch regular, plays a lone criminal who is on a mysterious mission in various parts of Spain. Bill Murray, Tilda Swindon and Gael Garcia Bernoi also star. 'The Limits of Control' is on release at selected cinemas nationwide.

The Film: Where the Wild Things Are

Directed by Spike Jonze 'Where the Wild Things Are' brings Maurice Sendak's children's story to the big screen in something which seems like a mix of 'Narnia', 'Lord of the Flies', 'Peter Pan' and 'The Wombles'. Jonze himself co-wrote the script with Dave Eggers and so this is one adaptation which has been much anticipated. It stars Max Record as Max, a kid who throws a wobbler, runs out of the house in his furry pyjamas, gets in a boat and sails to a land populated by a gang of truly dysfunctional monsters. Here Max - now the King - explains the universe and all that to Carol - a very large Muppet who sounds remarkably like a well known waste management in consultant in New Jersey. 'Where the Wild Things Are' is on general release nationwide.

The Performance: Bob Dylan

We leave you tonight with what is indubitably a truly special Christmas musical treat. From the album 'Christmas from the Heart', and you really have to see this, Columbia recording artist Bob Dylan.

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